Cherry Pie: Part 2

Picking up where we left off with Cherry Pie: Part 1, this recipe from The Complete Book of Pastry goes through the steps to make a beautiful lattice crust cherry pie like the one pictured above.  You could make it for friends for a 4th of July BBQ, like I did!  Or just make it for yourself because you deserve your very own personal cherry pie.

In introducing this recipe, Bernard Clayton, Jr. sweetly describes a cherry pie is so special to him: “It was the first pastry my bride made, served and received with love.”  If that doesn’t warm your heart then you’re probably dead on the inside, and also I don’t think you’d like this cookbook.

One great thing about The Complete Book of Pastry is that each recipe estimates the amount of time you’ll need for each step.  Just looking at it, I know the filling will take me 5 minutes to do if I use fresh cherries, 10 minutes if I use frozen cherries, the pie assembly will take me 15 minutes, and the baking another 15 minutes.

As I mentioned in Part 1, the recipes are presented here in the same form as in the cookbook, which is paragraph style.  Not ideal, but very informative!

Lattice-Top Cherry Pie

[one 8- or 9-inch two crust pie]

Ingredients

  • Pastry for two-crust pie (see Two-Crust Pie)

Filling:

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cherries, pitted (or 2 16-oz cans cherries, pitted)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tbs quick-cooking tapioca (or 3 tbs cornstarch, if cherries are canned)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 tbs butter, to dot
  • 1 tbs granulated sugar, to sprinkle

Preparation

Crust:

Prepare bottom crust according to instructions, pg. 64. (See below). Top crust may be rolled in advance and lattice pieces cut. They should be covered with plastic wrap or wax paper to keep from drying.

Filling:

Fresh or partially thawed cherries: (5 min.) Place the pitted cherries in a large bowl; stir in 1 cup sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, salt and almond extract. Taste the mixture.  Add sugar if desired.  Set aside for 30 minutes.

To partially cook the cherries before they are put into the shell and thereby reduce the time the fruit filling needs to inside the shell, put the fruit in a medium saucepan and place over the heat.  Cover.  Within 3 or 4 minutes the cherries will have given off considerable juice.  Remove from heat.  In a small bowl mix sugar, tapioca, salt and almond extract. Pour this into the hot cherries.  Stir to blend.  Add the lemon juice.  Place over low heat and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.  Allow the cherry filling to cool before pouring into the pie shell.

Working note: If, after the cherry filling has cooled, it is too thick, add several tablespoons of water; if too thin, add cornstarch. Also, if the cherries have been picked before they have reached full color, you may wish to add a few drops of red coloring.

Canned cherries: (10 min.) Drain the canned cherries into a medium saucepan.  Set aside for a few minutes while the liquid is prepared.  Stir 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, salt and almond extract into the drained juices.  Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat.  Stir constantly while it thickens.  Remove for the heat and combine with the reserved cherries.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Assembly: (15 minutes)

Pour the cherry mixture into the prepared crust. Dot with butter.

Roll the remaining dough into a rough rectangle, 1/8 inch thick and long enough to provide lattice strips to cross the pie.  Cut six or eight strips 1/2 inch wide with a pastry cutter or sharp knife.  A pastry cutter with a special blade, called a jagger, cuts an attractive lattice strip.  Arrange strips in a latticework pattern, weaving over and under, if desired.  Strips may be twisted when laid down.  Moisten the edge of the bottom crust.  Pinch ends to seal.  Strips may also be pressed around the edge of the pan and over the ends of the crossed lattice pieces.  Flute edge of crust (see “Edges,” page 65).  Sprinkle lattice with sugar.
Baking: (15 minutes at 400 degrees; 40 minutes at 350 degrees)

Place the pie on the lower shelf of the hot oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and move pie to the middle shelf to continue baking until filling in center of pie is hot and bubbling, about 40 minutes more.  If edges should brown too rapidly, cover with a narrow strip of foil.

Because cherry pies are notorious for bubbling over the sides of the pan, it is wise to place a length of foil on the shelf below to catch any spills.
Final Step:

Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.  This pie freezes well.

Variation:

Orange-Glazed Cherry Pie: When the crust is being prepared, include among the ingredients 1 1/2 tsp finely shredded orange peel.  When the lattice-covered pie comes hot from the oven, spoon orange glaze over the center and garnish with a twisted orange slice.  Glaze:Blend 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tsp finely shredded orange peel and 1 tbs orange juice.  Tangy!

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2 responses

    • I thought it tasted great! Not too sweet or complex, just your straight-forward cherry pie. The crust was good too. Reminded me of a Pop-tart, only a million times better. If I made this pie again, I’d like to try adding some cinnamon & orange to it maybe.

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